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Information needs are increasingly being supplied by electronic rather than print resources and often administrators see this move as a justification to shrink traditional library space. The space is being converted to other uses including a trend to incorporate writing centers and student success centers into the library to form what are called university learning commons or more informally to transform space into gathering areas that include computers, group study space, casual seating, and coffee shops referred to as the Borders model. No matter what the new spaces are used for, these trends add up to shrinking space for housing library materials and the pressure for libraries to weed their collections and make them relevant and useful to their patrons is more of a reality than ever before. Libraries have always had a mandate to weed yet most libraries do not have systematic procedures for weeding. This presentation discusses reasons why weeding doesn't get done and the many issues to consider when creating a weeding plan. It provides many practical suggestions along with the pros and cons of methods that have been tried at one mid-sized university. Along with the practical, the paper makes some observations about society's views of libraries and books and personality traits of librarians that may add to the difficulty that libraries and librarians have when confronted with the need to weed their collections.


Ohio Valley Group of Technical Services Librarians

Digital Publisher

Digital Services Department; Wright State University Libraries